The Office of Diverse Learner Supports and Services (ODLSS) provides the tools to ensure that all Diverse Learners receive a high-quality public education that prepares students for success.
ODLSS is responsible for student evaluations, creating and monitoring Individual Education Plans (IEPs), and working with schools, staff, and families to fulfill these plans towards greater student development and achievement.
ODLSS uses a data-driven approach to best support the needs of each individual student, and does so in compliance with federal and state regulations regarding special education, including the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
To learn more, read our CPS Procedures and Guidelines for this school year:
- Procedural Manual: Guidance on Providing Special Education and Related Services to
Students with Disabilities
- Paraprofessional Support
- Assistive Technology (AT)
- Specific Learning Disability (SLD)
- Extended School Year (ESY)(IEP Section 14)
- Transportation (IEP Section 15 and Section 504 Plan - Transportation)
- Procedural Safeguards for Parents/Guardians of Students with Disabilities
If you are the parent of a child with disabilities for whom transportation is provided pursuant to an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plan and your child is experiencing transportation related problems, call (773) 553-2860 for immediate assistance.
For questions around special education services, please contact the school level . assigned district representative
Meet our Parent Involvement Specialist
Lynn Olavarria is the proud mother of two young adult diverse
learners now attending college.
While her children were young, she was very active in their
education; advocating for learning supports, collaborating with
teachers, and serving on the Local School Council (LSC). That
experience inspired her to help fellow parents of diverse
learners looking for guidance about available supports and
Lynn volunteered as a Court Appointed Special Advocate,
CASA of Cook County. As a CASA volunteer, she successfully
advocated on behalf of her assigned foster child to receive
specialized supports and services through the child’s IEP.
Recently, she also volunteered for the Education Pro Bono Clinic
at the Legal Assistance Foundation.
Michelle is the proud mother of three children, two of which are Diverse learners. All three children are currently being educated within CPS. Michelle understands advocacy for children. Michelle’s knowledge and skills gained while seeking supports and services for her children have allowed her to successfully walk within the role as parent and community liaison for over ten years. She has also taught as a substitute teacher with hands-on classroom experience. Michelle holds a bachelor degree in Journalism/Broadcasting, and a Masters in Theology.
Janice is a proud mom to two young adults with disabilities. She is a public interest attorney and civil rights advocate who until recently was involved in special education advocacy in her home district of Puerto Rico. Previously, she worked as a Child Support Prosecutor at the Puerto Rico Child Support Administration, as Directing Attorney at Puerto Rico Legal Services, Inc., the ACLU of Puerto Rico, the Puerto Rico Civil Rights Commission, and as a staff attorney at the Community Law Office and the Puerto Rico Civil Rights Institute. Besides a Juris Doctor, she holds a Bachelor's Degree in Education.
Kimberly is the proud mother of young adult who was diagnosed with ASD at age six. Through advocacy, she has gained knowledge and skill sets as an advocate, due process and IEP liaison for families and is well versed in the Department of Human Services Waiver programs as it relates to options and several consent decrees. Professionally, she was a Ligas Family Advocate with The Arc of Illinois, a nonprofit organization supporting all persons with developmental and intellectual disabilities for the past four years. She has been involved in the Chicagoland Autism Connection Parent Support Group for over 18 years and currently serves as President of the Board of Directors. Chicagoland Autism Connection Family & Professional Support Group" is one of the largest family support groups in the state of Illinois. Kimberly received her formal education at Indiana Wesleyan University. Prior to her advocacy outreach, Kimberly worked for two large nonprofits as the Membership Marketing Manager for a combined 20 years of service.